Melissa Barrera thought there was 'no way' she would be cast as Carmen

Melissa Barrera thought there was 'no way' she would be cast as Carmen

Melissa Barrera thought there was "no way" she would be cast in 'Carmen.'

The 32-year-old actress stars in the title role of big screen adaptation of the Frank Wildhorn musical - which is a modern-day reimagining of the classical opera about the love life of a gypsy girl against a military backdrop - but was convinced that director Ben Millepied "hated" her upon their first meeting.

She said: "Our first meeting was super interesting. I already knew of Benjamin’s work. I knew he had choreographed Black Swan and I had Googled him, and I knew his talent as a choreographer. And when I met him, we were sitting at a picnic table outside of [L.A. Dance Project] and we just talked about the script. He had sent me the script with some of the music and pictures and inspiration, a very complete package, and I was like, ‘This is incredible. I would be so lucky to be able to be a part of this.’

"And so we met and we chatted about the script and I told him all the problems that I had with the script and I was like, ‘He hates me.’ I was like, ‘There’s no way that I’m getting this,’ because this was in 2018. I had done nothing except a season of Vida, so I was like, ‘I’m no one. Literally, I’m no one.’ "

The 'Vida' star went on to explain that although she is not a confident dancer, she eventually decided that she "needed" to be a part of the film following a callback and refused to let the opportunity go.

She told Collider: " I just got to LA and I just came and I told him all the issues that I have as a Mexican. A story about a Mexican immigrant, it is important that we do it right so I told him all my thoughts and then, he’s so serious. He’s French! So he was so serious. I was like, ‘He hates me. There’s no way I’m getting this.’ I left, I called my team, I was like, ‘He hates me. There’s no way.’ And then they called me, they were like, ‘He wants to see you dance.’ I was like, ‘Well, that’s gonna be a whole other thing because I’m not a dancer'.

"So many things changed and the one constant was that I knew that I needed to be a part of this movie. You know, you just get this gut feeling? I knew that whatever Benjamin was gonna do was gonna be something incredible and magical, just because I had seen him work. I had already started working with him in dance and I was like, ‘I just can’t let this go!'"

'Carmen' had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 11.